Highlights From the U.S. vs. Jamaica Match

Watching the highlights of a game that I witnessed in person is really kinda weird. Hearing the commentator is kinda weird too.

Anyway, here are the highlights from yesterdays U.S. vs. Jamaica match.

Notice that the only thing it doesn’t show is Jermaine Jones’ dive. (I’m not trying to harp on it, but it was a major changing point in the game. I understand that the highlight reel was pieced together by US Soccer, and that they would want to put their best foot forward, but in my mind, they could have included it, too.)

For your viewing pleasure, you can see that here… With ssslllooowww mmmoootttiiiooonnn!

USA Wins 2-0!

US Soccer - Don't Tread On Me I just got back from U.S. vs. Jamaica match @ RFK, and man!  What a game!

My thoughts on the match are below…

  • I know that Landon Donovan didn’t get back from California until early this morning, but I was still surprised to see that he didn’t start.  He did have a noticable impact as soon as he was subbed on in the second half, though.
  • Shame about Jozy Altidore’s injury.  Hope it’s not serious.
    • Edit: Apparently it was a left hamstring injury.  Not sure of severity or injury, but being at the game, he could not walk off under his own power and had to be stretchered off.
  • Jermaine Jones had a fantastic match with 2 glaring exceptions.
    • The yellow he picked up was unnecessary, but he was battling it out all afternoon with several Jamaica players and probably lashed out emotionally.
    • Jamaica’s red card.  It looked 100% deserved while watching the match live, but I just looked at the highlights and he TOTALLY dove.  There was ZERO contact.
  • Eric Lichaj had a good game as well.
  • Spent a little bit chatting it up with some of the fans in my section.  None of them seemed to have any love for Sacha Kljestan, but I thought that he had a good game.  He kept possession when he had it, hustled, several good passes, very few mistakes.  To each his own, I guess.
  • I am soooooo glad that Clint Dempsey was able to score a goal after all of the shots he took and missed during the last match against Guadeloupe.
  • Overall, I thought that the U.S. just did better.  Handily their best match of the tournament so far.  They had Jamaica pinned into their own half for the whole first half and when folks started to get tired in the second half, very few mistakes were made on defense.  We seemed more cohesive as a group today.
  • The game was a sell-out which created a wonderful atmosphere.  Everyone was loud, happy, and excited to be there.
  • My son went with me to this game and if he goes with me to the next, I need to get tickets in a section that is not directly behind the supporters section.  Perhaps the first row of the upper deck.  Everyone on my side of the stadium stood the entire game.  For me, that’s awesome.  For him, needless to say, even standing in his seat, he still had a hard time seeing.
  • And finally, today I have a new found respect for the fans of the El Salvador national team.  RFK was awash in blue flags and jerseys.  Apparently there is a large El Salvadoran population in the DC area.  The El Salvadoran fans outnumbered the Jamaica and Panama fans combined 25-1 and outnumbered the U.S. fans 2-1.  They were all totally cool and cheered for the U.S. team while waiting for their match (which unfortunately they lost on penalty kicks).

All told, an excellent way to spend a Father’s Day.

I have a handful of pictures from the game.  (Well, mostly before the game.  I was too busy watching the game to take pictures after kickoff!)  I’ll put them up tomorrow as soon as I figure out to do it.  ;-)

What a relief! I didn’t waste my money after all!

Shirt badge/Association crestLadies and gentleman, I have a confession to make.  I am a soccer fan.  I know, I know, you’re thinking, “Soccer?!?  Really?!?”  But yes, I am a soccer fan.  I understand that soccer fans are outnumbered by football, baseball and basketball fans by a kagillion to 1, but I don’t care.  I love watching soccer!

More on my favorite teams, players, and loyalties later.

Tonight I want to talk about the U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team.

I’ve been wanting to make it to a MLS game for quite a while and the scheduling just hasn’t worked out.  But, I did have a chance to buy tickets to the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup quarterfinals @ RFK in Washington, DC on June 19th, Father’s Day.  So I went ahead and bought 2 tickets for my son and I.  Problem is that I didn’t know who was going to be playing in the quarterfinals when I bought the tickets, because the tournament hadn’t started yet!  The way the groups were drawn, as long as the U.S. actually made it to the quarterfinals (in either 1st or 2nd place), I’d have a chance to see the USMNT play.  Which would be fantastic!  I’d get to see my favorite players from all kinds of teams play, Clint Dempsey and Landon Donovan being primary among them.

So I have been watching the USMNT’s group stage matches and after beating Canada and losing (and losing decisively) to Panama, the USMNT had put themselves in a must-win position in order to advance to the quarterfinals (and not make my tickets a total waste).

And so, after a throughly disappointing performance against Panama, the USMNT finally showed up!

Final Score: US 1 : 0 Guadeloupe

Cherundolo - Just fanstastic!  He was involved in everything all night.
Altidore - He finally made me a fan tonight.  Excellent goal and he always seemed to put himself in good positions the whole match.
Lichaj - Tonight was the first time I’ve seen him play.  Throughly impressed.
Donovan – Steady, smart, energetic performance all night.  He shanked an easy, wide-open shot from 6 yards out, but we’ll forgive him, seeing as we won…!
Dempsey – Also steady and energetic, but I cannot say smart…  He missed wide-open shot from 6 yards out and a super-easy tap-in from 2 feet out, and somehow could not find the back of the net.  Don’t get me wrong, I still love ya, but come on, man!  Had he converted one of his million chances, it would have changed the tone of the whole game.
Howard - On the handful of times that he was tested, he was world-class, as always.
Bedoya - Nice runs once he was subbed in.  Shame that he never could seem to beat the keeper to the ball.
Kljestan - Got subbed on late in the 2nd half.  Several excellent crosses and was involved while he was on the pitch.  I’ve always liked to watch him play.  It’s a shame that he plays overseas now, cause I never get to see him play.  :-)

Over all, a win is what we needed to advance, and a win is what we got.  Most of the team looked tired in the 2nd half, so I am glad that they don’t have to play again until Sunday.

So, I may not have known what I bought tickets for a month ago, but I finally know now!  They were double-header tickets, too, so…

Jamaica v United States
and
Panama v El Salvador

So Bob, please, for the love of Pete, please work on finishing during practice this week.  Oh, and give Bradley some rest.  He looked exausted!

Super excited for the trip to RFK on Sunday!

 

Well, that stinks!

I noticed a couple of days ago that something went screwy with the site.  It was really kinda odd.  The site was down.  My web hosting wasn’t down, it was just that the site was rendering a blank white page, regardless of browser or PC.  After messing with it for a couple of minutes, I decided that there was only a couple of posts, so I blew out the whole WordPress install and started over.

That said, I’m not sure that I’m going to miss the old posts.  Honestly, I was really in quite an odd mood when they were written, and I am most definitely in a better state of mind now.  It’s kinda nice to start off fresh.

The thing that I am going to miss from those old posts is the music that I referenced in some of them.  Pandora really and truly is one of the neatest sites on the net.  The first 3 songs (Minus the Bear’s “Pachuca Sunrise” [acoustic and album] and El Ten Eleven’s “Whatever”) were listed in previous posts.  The 4th song, Ratatat’s “Loud Pipes”, I ran across last week.  I’m totally loving this song right now.  And after going back and downloading a bunch of their stuff off from Napster, I can officially declare this an excellent find!

Minus the Bear – Pachuca Sunrise (Album Version)

 

Minus the Bear – Pachuca Sunrise (Acoustic)

 

El Ten Eleven – My Only Swerving

 

Ratatat’s Loud Pipes